Some thoughts on Book Week Scotland


Aye so, just about recovered from a hectic week last week. For those not in the know it was Book Week Scotland, put together by the brilliant team at the Scottish Book Trust, who organised thousands of events across the country to celebrate the culture of books in this country.

So I went from the high security Shotts Prison to a Morningside reading group of ladies-who-lunch. I’ll let you figure out which was the more intimidating of the two. I also did a handful of terrific library gigs and the whole thing was incredibly uplifting, which is not something I was expecting, if I’m honest. I’m generally not much of a joiner-in, but I did feel a sense of camaraderie and communal spirit through the week that really surprised me. Questions asked at events ranged from ‘are you rich?’ to ‘why don’t you write about football?’. Both interesting in their own ways.

It was pretty surreal seeing authors talking about books on Newsnight Scotland, as well as literature being the lead story on the Scottish news. I was delighted to see Trainspotting voted as the best book of the last fifty years. I don’t really believe in these kinds of lists and all this voting bollocks, but if any book should win that title it’s probably that one.

Elsewhere, my five-year-old daughter got a bag of books that she loves at a library visit on the Monday. She was excited to meet a real author on that trip. When I pointed out her dad was a real author, she said, “No, a real one, who writes books for children”. Fair enough.

Also, my son took part in a musical of Treasure Island at his school. Pretty sure that wasn’t part of Book Week Scotland, but it was fantastic anyway. The kids were clearly very enthused about the whole thing, and the story especially, and it was indicative of the general enthusiasm for storytelling that I felt throughout the week, both in person and online.

All that and a bunch of amazing murals were unveiled on various libraries around the country, including the one above by graffiti artist Rogue One at Buckhaven Library. So well done to the Scottish Book Trust for an amazing campaign, and to everyone who took part,  helped out or came to an event.

Let’s do it again next year!


About Doug Johnstone

I write things
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